1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-36, 4:11
While the head priest, Eli, was trying to do a good job, his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were not. When people would come to make sacrifices, they would take unfair portions and portions that were supposed to belong to God. When people would complain the sons would threaten them with force.
Eli eventually heard about this and other sins his sons were committing. Eli warned them about their sin, but they would not listen. Eventually an unnamed prophet came to Eli and prophesied the deaths of Hophni and Phinehas and that eventually God would take the priesthood from Eli’s family and replace them with a more faithful priest. The whole family was being punished because, as a parent, Eli bore some of the burden for not training his children properly. All of the prophecy did eventually come to pass. Hophni and Phinehas die when the ark is taken from them and years later Solomon replaces Eli’s descendant with another line of priests. All of this is sad however the prophecy about replacing Eli’s family has a second more significant meaning.
While the first meaning is an actual change in the family line that was chief priest, the second meaning is when Jesus came. We no longer need to go to a chief priest, that needs forgiveness himself, to help us with our forgiveness. We can now go to Jesus who doesn’t have any sin at all. The eventual faithful priest God was prophesying about was Jesus. Because no one is more faithful than Jesus!!
Old Testament people had to keep giving sacrifices over and over because each sacrifice could only cover one sin. But because Jesus was a perfect sacrifice, He covered all sin! We now have the most faithful priest possible who stands ready to forgive us anytime, anywhere!
Discuss how sin was forgiven in the Old Testament (take a sacrifice to the priest, etc.). Consider acting this out together. Then discuss how much easier it is now and how we get forgiveness now (prayer). Take a moment to pray for forgiveness.